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“Holding forth the Word of Life” Philippians 2:16
“Holding fast the Faithful Word” Titus 1:9
In Ephesians 4:14, the Apostle Paul warns believers, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.”
J C Ryle wrote, “False doctrine does not meet men face to face, and proclaim that it is false. It does not blow a trumpet before it, and endeavour openly to turn us away from the truth as it is in Jesus. It does not come before men in broad daylight and summon them to surrender. It approaches us secretly, quietly, insidiously, plausibly, and in such a way as to disarm man’s suspicion, and throw him off his guard. It is the wolf in sheep’s clothing, and Satan in the garb of an angel of light, who have always proved the most dangerous foes of the Church” (J C Ryle, Warnings to the Churches, 56).
In the gospel according to Matthew Chapter 24, the Lord Jesus taught the disciples how to look out for the signs of His coming, and of the end of the world. And one very common warning given by the Lord is to watch out for deception. In Matthew 24:4–5, the Lord warns, “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Again in Matthew 24:11, the Lord warns, “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” And then in Matthew 24:24, He warns, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
Let us take heed of the warnings of the Lord and of the Apostle concerning the deception of the last days. Paul says, “Be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” Children are very gullible. They are easily tricked into believing lies. Are we like spiritual children and therefore easily deceived and carried away by every wind of doctrine?
To avoid being easily tossed to and fro by the trickery of men, we need to build ourselves up in the faith. We need to study the Word of God diligently, faithfully and prayerfully that we will not yield to the cunning craftiness of the father of lies.
Dear Reader, do you search the Scriptures daily and receive the truth with all readiness of mind (Acts 17:11)? Do you humbly and obediently respond to God’s commandments with “Yes, Lord” (Mk 7:28), or do you challenge cunningly, like the serpent, “Yea, hath God said” (Gen 3:1)? Do you treasure the inspired, inerrant and infallible Word?
Consider the statement on the infallibility and inerrancy of Holy Scriptures by Dean Burgon of Oxford: “The Bible is none other than the voice of Him that sitteth upon the throne. Every book of it, every chapter of it, every verse of it, every word of it, every syllable of it, every letter of it, is the direct utterance of the Most High. The Bible is none other than the Word of God, not some part of it more, some part of it less, but all alike the utterance of Him that sitteth upon the throne, faultless, unerring, supreme.” How do you regard the Word of God? Do you believe that God is exceedingly powerful and able to perfectly preserve His inspired Word all intact in every age? Do we not believe in the literal six-day creation, the world-wide flood in the days of Noah, the virgin birth of Christ, His bodily resurrection and ascension, the rapture of believers when Christ comes again? It is with this same simple faith that we believe in the perfect preservation of the Holy Scripture till today!
You must read “A Child of God Looks at the Doctrine of Verbal Plenary Preservation” by Miss Carol Lee (Lecturer in Christian Education at the FEBC) in the July 2005 issue of The Burning Bush. Sister Carol writes: “Just as I believe by faith that God created out of nothing and that He created over a literal six-day period because the Word of God says so (no matter what the scientists or the science text books say!), I believe by faith that God can and has preserved His words for us because the Word of God says so (no matter what the textual critics, scholarly linguists, commentators, etc may say!).”
“Just as much have been written against the six-day creation (and the other miracles in the Bible), much have also been (and will continue to be) written against the verbal, plenary preservation of the Word of God.”
“But, finally, it is not what the ‘experts’ or ‘godly men’ say but what God’s Word says. It is not what I can see with my eyes and touch with my hands, it is what is revealed to me (and you) in God’s Word.”
The Word of God is truth. But in the last days, let us be aware of cunning men who change the truth of God into a lie insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. But God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar (Rom 3:4).
God is perfect, and He has preserved His truth providentially down through the ages in the copies of the writings perfectly so that we today still have the perfect Word of God which converts our soul. If we reject the doctrine of perfect preservation, then we do not have the inspired, infallible and inerrant Word of God intact. So, beware of certain deception today which proclaims that we cannot accept with simple faith that we still have the Word of God that is perfect, infallible and inerrant. The psalmist says in Psalm 19 that the Word of God is perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, and true. Do we say “Amen, Amen and Amen”?
Yes, the Word of God is perfect. The Word of God is truth. It is therefore the power unto perfect salvation in a perfect God. It is the perfect Word of God that converts our souls unto salvation in Jesus Christ. And so let us be bold to speak the perfect word of truth. Paul tells us this is what we are to do in Ephesians 4:15, “speaking the truth in love.” Are we doing our part in the ministry by speaking the gospel of truth in love?
What is the gospel of truth? It is the gospel which tells us of the love of God for sinners like you and me. The Bible tells us that “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God loves us and wants us to be with Him forever and ever. But because of sin in us, we cannot be with God. But God has His way. His way is to wash away our sins with the blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. And so if you believe that you are a sinner, and you need to be washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, His blood washes you clean so that you can be with God forever in eternity. Do you recognise that you are a sinner? Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ that He is the Son of God who died by shedding His blood to wash away your sins? “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”
Rev Tan Kian Sing is pastor of Berean B-P Church.